May 25, 2021


In late 2015, the manager of the lovely new downtown Omni Hotel sent some of us at the Downtown Partnership an invitation to attend a cocktail party and sample delicious dishes prepared by the hotel chefs—with a great discount price for a guest room!  I thought it highly unlikely I’d have a better chance to stay at a new luxury hotel, so I jumped at the chance. I invited Kay Eaves to join me there for the experience.

Live music at the party was provided by talented violinist Avery Bright (a good friend whose wife was also a Partnership staff member) a cellist and guitarist he enlisted.  The guitar player was none other than Jesse Isley! His father had been on staff at our Columbia, South Carolina, church years ago—but I’d not seen him since he was a little boy. I knew he’d moved to Nashville to explore music opportunities—and had seen him at a few concerts but not met him.

After sampling all the delicious food items and listening to great live music, Kay and I retired to our elegant guest room. Our views of the night skyline were spectacular!  The hotel had provided us with a complimentary bottle of champagne and chocolate coated strawberries.  We laughed and talked and sipped champagne—and then had a wonderful night’s sleep on fine linens and thick pillows.  

It was a taste of elegance—a grand way to start the holidays—and then when morning came, we went our separate ways to work and daily routines.  But the magic lingered!

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